Madrid, February 3 (Europe Press) –
The presidents of Uganda and Rwanda, Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame, respectively, have agreed to improve relations and release citizens detained in the neighboring country, in the context of rising tensions between Kampala and Kigali.
The agreement was reached on Sunday during a summit in Luanda, as part of diplomatic efforts by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola to reduce bilateral differences.
Similarly, both countries pledged to implement any measure that “may create a perception that it supports, finances, trains or infiltrates destabilizing forces in the neighboring country,” according to Rwandan news portal KT Press.
The two sides also agreed to hold the next four-way summit on February 21 at the Katuna border crossing, which was closed last year due to tensions. At this meeting, progress in implementing the commitments will be discussed.
“I thank President (Angolan) Joao Loureno for hosting the summit. Uganda will do its part to ensure that the decisions of the summit are implemented,” Museveni stressed on his Twitter account.
The Rwandan government accused Kampala of supporting rebel groups opposed to the country’s President Paul Kagame, including the Rwandan National Congress and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.
Kampala, for its part, accused Rwanda of imposing a de facto trade embargo on Uganda. He also denied the existence of a “witch hunt” against Rwandans living in the country, following Kigali’s accusations in this regard.
Increased bilateral tensions have raised concerns about a sub-conflict between the two countries and Burundi – also at a diplomatic spat with Rwanda – in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where they support various armed groups.
The International Crisis Group (ICG) recently warned that “intensive hostilities between the countries of the Great Lakes region threaten to return to the regional wars that tore the region apart in past decades.”
Upon his arrival a year ago to the presidency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi chose the diplomatic channel – mediated by Loreno – although it has recently stopped and opened the door to military cooperation with the above-mentioned countries. Various rebels.
In this sense, the International Crisis Group stressed that Tshisekedi “must prioritize diplomatic channels (…) to de-escalate tensions between his neighbours” because the sub-conflict “could further destabilize the DRC and even provoke a major security crisis at the regional level”.
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